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Afghan traders block traffic on Tajik border


Afghan traders block traffic on Tajik border

Apr 16, 2017 - 18:39

KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Traders, mostly small business owners, on Sunday shut the Sher Khan Port in northern Kunduz province in protest against absence of a Tajik consulate and some problems the neighboring country had created for them.

They said besides denying visas to Afghan traders and drivers, Tajikistan was creating other problems for them. The protestors said warned to keep the port closed until their demands were met.

Numbering about 100, the demonstrators also erected protest tents near the joint border of Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Haji Mujib, an Afghan trader, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “Tajikistan does not give work visas to Afghan businessmen and drivers, there is no consulate of that country in Kunduz, they also insult Afghans.”

He said the border gate would be closed until their problems were resolved. He said they had several times shared their problems with Tajik officials, but they did nothing as yet.  Mujib said 250 Tajikistani drivers possessed Afghanistan visas.

Shams, a driver on the Afghanistan and Tajikistan route, said his visa expired two months ago, but Tajikistan refused to extend it.

“If Tajikistan is really a friend of Afghanistan, it should open a consulate in Kunduz province”, he said.

Local officials confirmed problems traders and drivers faced. Sayed Mahmod Danish, the governor’s spokesman, said: “Tajikistani authorities have been several times requested to open a consulate in Kunduz, but to no avail.”

He said the reason Tajikistan was denying to open a consulate in Kunduz was the absence of proper security in the province.

Danish said Tajikistan had been assured by local officials of the consulate security by Afghan forces.